Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Personal Payback Politics

What happened today at city council is an example of why city government is dysfunctional. And keep score on this one because there will be a time to hold people accountable and this is one the electorate should pay attention to.

City Rep Michiel Noe removed a routine re-appointment to the city planning commission for what is essentially a little political payback. Although truth be told, he should be thanking the guy he just stabbed in the back today because he's the reason he still sits in his chair.

I'll get to that in a minute.

He started off by saying something along the lines of not to get political here which is a lot like when a white guy says I'm not a racists but... you just know something racist is going to follow. So you just knew Noe was about to get political.

But the bottom line here is that what went down in city hall today was the re-emergence of Gandara politics, this time at the city of El Paso. And people wonder why the city is dysfunctional?

Reps Noe, Acosta, and Niland all went on an attack against arguably the most qualified member of the CPC and it all comes down to one thing - political payback. That member is Jose Landeros.

And what, or whom, is the common denominator?

Dora Oaxaca.

Which is interesting that you don't hear of a bunch of personal problems and a confrontational culture at the county anymore, but you damn sure do now that Oaxaca is at the city.

But hell, maybe that is all just a coincidence.

Dora Oaxaca has worked for all three city reps. I even did an open records request asking for payment records to her but the city was unresponsive to my request. So its more than a little disingenuous of City Rep Acosta to be talking about disclosing payments made to a CPC member.

Pot, meet kettle.

Actually, while I'm at it, let me make a couple of other introductions.

City Rep Acosta, supported by City Rep Noe, appointed her own staffer's long-time partner/fiancee/significant other, to the very same board.

Noe one batted an eye. Rep Noe didn't complain. Rep Niland didn't complain. Barbara Carrasco didn't complain.

Dora's long-time whatever they are is a friend of mine I've known for years. His name is Jay Desai.

Jay is working on a degree, but like me, doesn't have one yet. Jay doesn't have any government experience either. Both Reps Acosta and Noe made point of how important of a committee the CPC is, yet the most remarkable thing about their comments today were what they weren't about.

Jose Landeros' qualifications. In fact, they all spoke about how intelligent Landeros is.

Landeros has a degree in Political Science from Texas A&M University. He has a Master's Degree in Public Administration with in Management & Development Planning from UT Arlington.

He was formerly the Program Coordinator for Community Scholars.

He is a policy advisor for County Commissioner Vince Perez. He is the Vice Chairman of the TPAC on the MPO.

He previously served as a Commissioner on the City Planning Commission as well. In short, he's more than qualified.

But did you hear a single peep from Reps Noe, Acosta, or Niland today about his qualifications?

No, you didn't. Essentially what they did was tell the constituents of El Paso that they aren't interested in having the most qualified members of our community making important decisions. They want people they can have influence over.

Like the significant other of their collective staffer. Who has worked on political campaigns like Norma Chavez, Marisa Marquez, and Dora Oaxaca.

And you know that that is?

Gandara politics at its best.

Dora Oaxaca was the staffer for convicted drug dealer Willie Gandara who once said "Dora Oaxaca is not my friend, she's my family."

And you wanna know who she helped put in office after she put Willie into office?

Thats right, Representative Michiel Noe.

So let me back up here since we are keeping score.

City Reps Noe and Acosta take issue with a member of the CPC that has run political campaigns but both just recently voted for a member of the CPC that has run political campaigns. The only difference is the one they voted for is the significant other of their staffer.

The one they voted against was the campaign manager of the man that ousted Dora Oaxaca.

Yeah, that is the REAL angle of all of this here. Dora is still pissed that she was beaten. She has wanted to be an elected official for a very long time. It was the culmination of all the political operations that she has been a part of over the years. She felt she was next in line to have the County Commissioner's seat.

And Landeros and Perez are are the reason she was rejected by voters. She's never gotten over that. She never will either. That is why it was her former candidate, Dr. Noe, that was the one who pulled the item off of the consent agenda.

And City Rep Cortney Niland has put herself in a spot because now people are going to scrutinize her appointments to committees. She appointed David Nevarez, now a city rep candidate for district 2, to a committee. He has a domestic violence rap he had to do community service for, but she fired her former staffer Jeremy Jordan for just getting arrested for domestic violence, not even a conviction.

Pot, meet kettle.

Obviously there is more to it for the reps as well. City Reps Noe and Acosta have a personal beef with Rep Ordaz. They were, and are, the biggest supporters of City Manager Tommy Gonzalez and of his raise of $61,000. They were, and are, the biggest supporters of City Rep Larry Romero.

Rep Ordaz has raised concerns about Gonzalez's performance and about Romero's pay.

So they have a track record of going after people who they consider close to Ordaz as part of their political ploys. Remember Acosta targeting me recently?

They are also upset about issues Ordaz raised with the MPO. Noe, Niland, and Acosta were members of the MPO. The city was screwing up to the tune of $60 million of your tax payer dollars. But in the typical City of El Paso stance, it wasn't their fault. No, it was the fault of the big, bad County of El Paso.

Noe, Acosta, and Niland are part of the no-accountability regime on council that wants to bury their head in the sand about REAL problems that existed at the city as it related to the MPO. And how dare the young Mexican girl from the valley have the nerve to raise concerns about an issue that was disproportionately affecting valley tax payers.

So those reps were pissed because they had egg on their face. So of course there has been an ax to grind against Ordaz.

Oaxaca has never gotten over losing to Vince Perez. Y para hechar la sal, Noe picked the guy who orchestrated her election downfall to run his campaign instead of using her again.

In one CPC vote they all had a chance at political payback and they took it.

As a community we should be offended that they chose Gandara-style politics over selecting the best and brightest to serve on committees.


Anonymous said...

I think what is going to hurt Landeros is his association with you.

The Lion Star said...

But what about my association with your mom?

C.D. said...

This post could use a diagram, or a flow chart. It's like trying to remember who slept with who on "Mad Men".

Anonymous said...

This Council constantly reinforces the belief that all they know how to do is participate in petty politics. They are worthless. Noe is the worst of them. That guy needs to go.

Thomas said...

First Noe and Niland are the closet Republicans on the CC.
Then again can see the inherent danger of to much authority and power in a small block of closely associated elected and appointed officials.
Sorry with El Paso's government,city and county, propensity for corruption and back room good buddy deals this was the right thing to do.
Bad idea to concentrate to much power in a small group of elected and appointed officials in government.
Please spare us the education angle government officials elected and appointed have proven over and over that a lot of people with degrees doesn't necessarily equal good government and accountability. Sometimes good ole common sense is in order which seems to be lacking big time at the city.